Several years ago I needed physical therapy. A charming young woman was assigned as my therapists. While she was focused on the business of my rehabilitation she was easy to talk to. Over the course of the next several weeks we talked, not just about my therapy but our families and our interests, baseball and many other things.
I love the study of “Human Temperament.” This was a new subject to her and I loaned her one of my books on the subject. She read it and returned it and we talked about it until my therapy came to an end.
As my last session was coming to an end she said “Thank You.” I said “It should be me saying thank you to you.” Her next remark caught me off-balance. She said “In this business my patients take from me but it is rare that anyone give back to me, you gave back to me.”
I was clueless about what I’d done to deserve such a kind comment. All I’d done was get well and had some delightful conversations with a charming young woman. Oh yes and I’d loaned her a book for about two weeks. Now I was being told I’d done something extra ordinary and was appreciated.
As I left and in times since this event I’ve thought what a shame that so many people missed out on getting to know her. She was a delight and yet she felt so drained at the end of her work days because no one saw fit to carry on a casual conversation with her beyond how they were going to get well.